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By Anon
This happened a while ago, but as this topic is being widely discussed at the moment on the forum and elsewhere, I thought I would share my experience of infringing on controlled airspace and what happens after. I'm trying to be as vague as possible so as to not identify myself, or anyone else involved.

During a standard local flight, I was squawking the listening squawk, listening on frequency (having been denied a basic service) and flying near CTA. At a point after a turn I entered the CTA. The controller quickly identified me with "Aircraft with listening squawk flying at location xxx please identify" Or words to that effect. Once I confirmed I was said aircraft, the controller informed me that I had entered controlled airspace and instructions to depart.

Once I had departed the CTA (of which my unauthorised sojourn lasted all of 20 seconds), I was asked to call the controller once I had landed. I expedited a rather speedy direct flight home, and called up as requested. Talking with the very reasonable controller, I apologised profusely and explained how the situation had arisen. They explained what would happen next:

I was then sent a mail with a notification of an MOR and a request to fill out a questionnaire for NATS. It was at this time I entered the fun world of CAP1404 and the CAA were involved. I was asked to give details of the infringement from my view; and to complete the online infringement test, completing the tutorial beforehand. It should be noted that the test has nothing to do with the tutorial before, and has questions related to airlaw and flight planning. Something which caused me great concern as I was unprepared for a test on this subject, and from my viewpoint was designed to trip up anyone taking the test.

I have now "cleared my name" with the CAA, but the whole process was frankly, quite frightening. The controller seemed non-plussed by the incident, but the CAA communications gave cause for concern with its wording.

To answer a few questions before they arise:
1. Essentially the reason for infringment was poor planning. I have subsequently discussed it with an ATO and do not wish to go through all the details.
2. Yes I had a GPS and SkyDemon, however the I couldn't hear SkyDemon issue its audio warning.
3. I have around 100 hours on my PPL.
4. It was SEP.

The real lessons for me were giving more respect to areas of controlled airspace and my planning decisions. The listening squawk worked well in that it was easy to identify me once it had occurred. I always think it best to face up to your mistakes, and despite the wording of the CAA letters and communications, I believe this is still the case.

If you make a mistake, talk about it.


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By skydriller
I hope that on the official CAA forms there was somewhere you could state you had asked for a FIS but were denied this. Do you believe that had you been receiving a service that the infringement would have been identified earlier or before it happened?

Regards, SD..